Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19th

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! So sorry, by the time I got back to the hotel yesterday, the last thing I felt like doing was a blog post, and today’s going to be short and sweet, because I have to get packed up to leave.

The first hour and a half of the drive down to my cousins’ house on Sunday was a nightmare - torrential rain, thunder, lightning, roads starting to flood, windshield wipers that couldn’t keep up, crawling along at 25 miles per hour. It was terrible, and put us way behind schedule, but we finally got past the edge of the storm, and it was smooth sailing from there.

Wouldn’t you know it though, I hit an armadillo just outside of Joshua, Tx. Can you believe it? Luckily it was already dead or that would have really put a crimp in my day. A buzzard was in the middle of the road, making breakfast of the little guy, and would not move. I swerved to avoid the vile creature and ran over the dead armadillo. YUCK!

We finally get to Debbi and Leo’s at 1:30, an hour and a half late. Now, I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous. The last time I saw Debbi, I was ten or eleven years old, and I had never met her husband, but I can make friends with total strangers, and these guys were family, so I knew we’d be just fine. What weighed most on my mind was my husband isn’t real comfortable meeting new people. I had nothing to worry about. Leo and Paulie hit it off like they were long lost brothers. Good grief, I could only imagine what kind of mischief these two would get into if they were together more often.

Luckily the weather in Austin is dramatically different than the weather in Dallas, so after a yummy lunch, we went out on the boat. We bee bopped up the Colorado River to a little alcove, dropped anchor, rolled out the Maui mat, and chilled out for a few hours. It was wonderful, nice and relaxing. The water was warm, but the fishies were a little overly friendly.

Leo cranked up the tunes – the man likes his music… loud – and we were dancing and singing and laughing and being silly. It was so much fun, but then the clouds started to look a bit threatening, so we decided to head in. When we got back to the house – which is drop dead gorgeous by the way, with all the stone and its red tile roof – Leo pumped up the volume on the stereo again when a special song came on, and he grabbed Debbi so she would dance with him, and my heart absolutely melted.

They have been married a year less than my husband and I, and it was just so wonderful to see a couple, who has been together for nearly a quarter of a century, to still be so much in love, and who truly enjoyed each other. What the two of them have together is a rare and amazing gift. They are so flippin’ cute together!

I really didn’t want to leave on Monday morning. It had been over thirty years since I had seen Debbi, and twenty hours was just not enough time to catch up on thirty years. I did find out that business has Debbi and Leo traveling to the northeast from time to time, so next time they are within 100 miles or so, Paulie and I will make every effort to get to see them.

After a quick detour to pick up some souvenirs, we had an uneventful drive back to the hotel. I was whooped from driving, so I planned on taking a nap. I had just gotten all comfortable, and my phone rang. Lys was calling to tell me the financial paperwork had finally arrive from the college. Yeah!

I hang up with her, and I’m just dozing off when the phone rings again. It’s Lys again asking if I knew where Dani was, because she couldn’t find her. I’m over 1,000 miles away, so the answer was “No” and then I asked, “Did you try calling her?”
“Yes. The phone doesn’t go directly to voicemail, so it’s not dead.”
“Did you look in the basement?”
“Did she leave you a note?”
“I can’t find one.”

The next hour was spent calling all over hill and dale trying to locate my daughter. I called the friends whose numbers I had, and they sent out blast texts to all their other friends. Dani was not picking up her phone, and she wasn’t with any of her friends.

I called my mother, both at her home phone and on her cell phone, but she wasn’t answering either. I was starting to get worried. Finally, Dani calls me. My mother had kidnapped her to help clean out the garage. She didn’t hear the phone ring because it was in the house charging. She didn’t leave a note because she was supposed to be home well before Lys got home.

Dani was so surprised when she got into the house, picked up her phone, and had dozens of texts and missed calls. Everyone was concerned about her, and tried to get a hold of her to make sure she was okay. It’s nice to know that if, God forbid, something were to happen, with only three or four calls, an alert to hundreds of people can be raised.

Okay, let me boogie. As I said, I have to pack up. Also, just as I had suspected, the purchase we made while here will not fit into our bags, so I need to run to the post office so I can mail them home.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!